Bolognese Sauce, known in Italian as Ragù alla Bolognese is a rich and meaty sauce that is slowly simmered for several hours to intensify its flavor. Serve it over pasta or use it in lasagna or baked ziti for a hearty, flavorful meal. Freeze any leftovers for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal. As an added bonus, it’s quite easy to make.
I used the following ingredients for this delicious Bolognese Sauce: Mild Italian sausage, onion, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, light brown sugar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, petit diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, and water. If your sausage is in casings, remove the casings.
Making the Bolognese Sauce:
As a first step, I browned the Italian sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the sausage was nicely browned, I dumped it onto a place lined with paper towels. This allowed a lot of the grease to drain off. Once the sausage was somewhat cooled, I broke it up into small pieces with my hand and transferred the pieces to another paper towel to further drain.
After I dumped the sausage out of the skillet, I wiped the interior of the pan with a paper towel. Then, I returned the pan to the burner set on medium heat. Next, I added the onions to the skillet and cooked them for about 5 minutes until they started to soften.
Once the onions started to soften, I returned the drained sausage to the skillet. Then, I stirred to combine everything. Next, I added the basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I stirred the sausage/onion mixture to incorporate all of the ingredients, Then, I added the garlic.
I gave the mixture a good stir and let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds until it was fragrant. Next, I added the “wet” ingredients – petit diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine and water.
I stirred everything together, brought the mixture to a slow boil, covered the skillet and lowered the heat to medium low. I cooked the Bolognese Sauce for about 3 hours. During that time, I stirred it every now and then until it was thick and chunky.
I served the Bolognese Sauce over Orecchiette with a sprinkling of minced parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. As an added treat, I served it with crusty French bread and glass or Merlot. The Bolognese Sauce was absolutely delicious. Yum!
This is a repost from August 27, 2016. Since that time, this Bolognese Sauce has become my go to pasta sauce to serve over pasta, to use in lasagna and to use in baked ziti. I’ve updated the text and the photos. In addition, I’ve altered the recipe a bit by omitting ground turkey, i.e., just using Italian sausage, cutting the recipe in half and using petit diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes.
If you’d like a similar recipe, check out my Sausage Ragu. It’s amazing.
- 1 pound (16 ounces) mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 14.5 ounce can petit diced tomatoes, preferably salt free
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce, preferably salt free
- 6 ounce can tomato paste, preferably salt free
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- Brown Italian sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Transfer paper towel lined plate to drain. Allow to cool; rub meat between fingers to break up into small pieces.
- Wipe skillet with paper towel to remove any remaining grease. Add onions; sauté over medium heat for about five minutes.
- Return sausage to skillet; stir to combine. Add basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.
- Add petit diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine and water; stir well to combine. Bring to a slow boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for three hours, adding more liquid if necessary. (See Tip 1)
- Correct the seasonings if necessary. Serve over pasta cooked according to package directions. (See Tip 2)
- Yield: 6 servings. (See Tips 3 and 4)
Chula's Expert Tips
- Rather than cooking on stove, transfer mixture to a crock pot and cook on high setting for 5 hours; or cook covered in 300° F oven for 3 hours.
- This makes a delicious base for lasagna or baked ziti.
- Bolognese Sauce is excellent as leftovers. In addition, it freezes well.
- The recipe is easily doubled.